August 13, 2018 7:15 pm
Updated: August 13, 2018 8:52 pm

Montreal veteran gets 70-year-old wish by flying in B-25 bomber

Mon, Aug 13: After more than 70 years of waiting, a Canadian war veteran got the chance to live out a special dream. As Global's Phil Carpenter reports, the leading aircraftsman during the Second World War worked on many planes – but this is the first time he flew in the B-25 Mitchell bomber.

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Ninety-seven-year-old Norman St. Aubin is living proof that dreams really do come true.

He was a leading aircraftsman, a mechanic, in the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. He worked on various planes like the B-25 Mitchell bomber.

“I was servicing them in Goose Bay, Labrador, in 1944,” he tells Global News.

But as familiar as he was with this plane, he had never flown in one — until now.

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One owned by the Commemorative Air Force based in Dallas, Texas, was flown to St-Hubert for the week. The group teaches American military aviation history and as part of that, does an annual summer tour to show off their planes and to educate the public.

READ MORE: B-25 Bomber comes to Kingston

“Working as a kind of a living history museum, bringing, as it were, the museum to the people rather than the people to the museum,” explains pilot Pete Scholl.

The B-25 bomber is in St-Hubert for the week as part of this year’s summer tour. It’s just one of several restored Second World War planes that the group owns. This bomber flew 15 missions during the Second World War, mostly over Italy. There were 10,000 built but this is one of 34 still flying.

READ MORE: B-25 Bomber visiting the Queen City

That’s how St. Aubin managed to get a ride on it. It doesn’t bother him that the aircraft is 75 years old.

“Well, I have a boat that’s 78 years old and tractor that’s 77 years old so, restored equipment goes well,” he said.

Even though he was flying in it for the first time, he wasn’t taking in the view very much. He was listening.

“To the sound of the engine,” he grins.

When he was working, it was the sound of the engine on takeoff that would tell him if something was wrong.

“I was always listening to make sure they didn’t drop more than 100 RPM,” he explains.

On this flight, he was satisfied.

“I never thought I’d be doing this at 97,” he muses.

He’s optimistic he’ll get to fly in the plane again before it leaves at the end of the week.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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